Cladosporium is one of the most common varieties of household mold, according to Advanced Mold Inspections. It can occur indoors and outdoors and favors surfaces that include fiberglass and plant-based materials such as wood, cotton and paper.
Though not toxic, it can present serious health risks to people with long-term exposure.
Due to the multiple antigens present in Cladosporium, mold allergy sufferers may experience an increase in allergy-related symptoms. Antigens are molecules that force the immune system to work overtime, which can result in symptoms that include swelling, sneezing, itchiness, rashes and sinus problems.
Even if you have no history of mold allergies, you may experience symptoms. These symptoms are seldom life-threatening, assuming you have a healthy immune system, but you should nevertheless remove yourself from the environment if symptoms occur.
Asthma sufferers should avoid environments plagued with Cladosporium, as the fungus can exacerbate symptoms and cause an increase in asthma attacks. People with extrinsic (allergic) asthma are at an especially high risk, as Cladosporium produces more than 10 types of antigen.
If you notice an increase in asthma symptoms and have reason to believe that Cladosporium or another mold exists in your home, contact a removal expert immediately.
Though allergies and asthma symptoms will typically fade away on their own, mycosis is a potentially serious health risk, and Cladosporium is a contributor to mycosis. The condition occurs when a person breathes in the fungal spores, which then begin to cause internal infections and inflammations.
For example, a sufferer may develop hypersensitivity pneumonitis, a painful lung inflammation. Symptoms usually occur after prolonged, excessive exposure.
In rare cases, sufferers can even develop pulmonary emphysema.
In some cases, Cladosporium can contribute to edema, an accumulation of fluid beneath the skin. It can also contribute to bronchiospasms, or sudden muscle spasms.
As with all molds, sufferers may also experience respiratory symptoms that include difficulty breathing, coughing and congestion. Since Cladosporium emits no toxins, some people may experience no symptoms at all.
People with allergies, asthma, respiratory difficulties and compromised immune systems have the highest risk of experiencing symptoms.